Aortic Disease: Research, New Treatments and More Contribute to World-Class Vascular Center
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Non-emergent patient referrals: (608) 263-8915
For aortic emergency referrals: (800) 472-0111
A year ago, a UW Health multidisciplinary team treated a patient with a traumatic aortic injury who had been transported to UW from a regional hospital. The patient's outcome was optimal, due, in part, to the protocol in place for treating aortic emergencies, including dissection and ruptured aneurysms. But long before this patient received care, the program had accumulated an impressive history of aortic research and innovative treatment options.
Jon Matsumura, MD chair of vascular surgery and professor at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health says, "Part of the reason I came to UW five years ago was because of the department's reputation and history with aortic disease. Our faculty has been, and continues to be, at the forefront of research and treatment for aortic disease, and we have all of the components of a world class vascular center."
As a Level One Trauma Center, UW has quick efficient communication channels designed to connect referring physicians with a surgeon for consultation. After transferring images for urgent surgical review via UW’s ImageShare program, both the regional and UW provider can be viewing the image while determining the patient’s immediate care needs, and UW Hospital staff can prepare for the patient's arrival.
Stroke and paralysis can be a major complication of aortic repair. UW boasts a low risk-adjusted rate for these complications.
Training and Education
UW Hospital and Clinics provides hands-on training for physicians interested in learning new procedures and approaches to aortic repair. Faculty also provide online training demonstrations as part of educational organizations like TCT (Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics), VIVA (Vascular Interventional Advances), and MVSS (Midwestern Vascular Surgical Society). Faculty are also involved in developing treatment guidelines and competency criteria outlining the skills and training to do endovascular repair for the Society for Vascular Surgery and other professional societies.
Advocacy and Research
UW Health faculty are leading research efforts to help people with aortic aneurysms and have advocated for Medicare coverage of abdominal aortic aneurysm screening through the Screening Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms Very Efficiently (SAAAVE) Act. These patients are often elderly, and traditionally face a decision of either periodically monitoring for aneurysm growth or a major operative procedure. Research programs cover the entire spectrum from screening, counseling, medical management to prevent growth, catheter based treatments and operations.